Each summer, CLSP organizes and hosts a few international teams for an intensive 6-week research workshop on speech and language engineering. These very successful workshops have had a widespread impact on the Human Language Technology community. Recently, we are beginning to experiment with broadening their reach to adjacent research communities.
Each workshop team spends 6 weeks together at CLSP (after some advance preparation), working in close proximity on some challenging problem or a promising solution technique that has not yet been well studied. Many teams have had a lasting influence on subsequent research and practice through the publications, software, and data that they produce. For many workshop participants, the biggest benefit is the interaction with other researchers, seeding new and lasting collaborations.
The workshops also contribute to the pool of trained specialists in the fields of speech and natural language processing by providing immersive training to undergraduate and graduate students, allowing researchers from different backgrounds to learn from one another, and educating all workshop participants through guest lectures, participant seminars, and team research updates.
Workshop topics are chosen through an unusual process of Interactive Peer Review. Initial 1-page proposals are broadly solicited early the previous fall; those that survive a screening are invited to a weekend retreat where they are presented, debated and fleshed out.
The workshop is preceded by a 2-week summer school in Human Language Technology, run for the benefit of the student participants and other attendees. Each day of the summer school features two invited lecturers and an all-afternoon hands-on lab exercise.